Doing the Birdy Backup Boogaloo Here

All the birds you see in this post were squawkin’, “Breaker 1-9 is there anybody out there, c’mon?” And Whitford Wild Bird Care Centre answered, “Hearing ya loud and clear, good birdie!”

Let’s hand it over to Susan R. now,

“Hi there, Summer has arrived in New Zealand which means it’s very busy at the Whitford Wild Bird Care Centre near Auckland! Loads of young birds there. Here are a few photos of some of the cutest – most of these are from the last few months, a few are from a couple of springs ago. I volunteer there and have helped look after most of these little guys and can confirm that they are all extremely cute, even the kind of ugly ones!” :

“Blackbirds! Although the centre focuses on wild New Zealand birds, in this case a nest full of blackbirds were cared for. Note their ‘sideburns’!”

This is an adult pukeko who decided to stay near the centre after he was released. He lives by a stream nearby and each year, has a batch of babies, and sometimes drops by to say hello (Mandy the centre manager is in this photo).”

“Morepork, New Zealand’s only surviving native owl (sadly quite a few native birds didn’t survive the arrival of European settlers but the centre is helping the ones who are left). The Maori name is Ruru, but European settlers called them ‘Morepork’ as their call sounds like this. (…)”

“Yes, this is an owl in a margarine container:”

Who let the owls out, who who:

“Dotterels are an endangered species and this little guy just about didn’t make it. The adults nest on the sand at the beach and during a very high spring ‘king tide’ a few weeks ago, a conservation ranger discovered one nest had been washed away. She found three eggs floating in the waves and rushed them to the centre. Two hatched: this is the first one, which weighed 18 grams (0.63 oz); and its sibling was just 16 grams (0.56 oz). Both are doing well.”

“Green finch – One of the latest arrivals and Mandy the centre manager says it’s the smallest patient they’ve ever had! Note the bread tag (approx 1.5cm wide) for scale. Less than 100 green finches were introduced to NZ in the 1860s from Europe, but they’ve now settled in and are very common.”

“Grey warblers (Riroriro in Maori) are native to NZ and sing beautifully. They are often very difficult to see but you hear them! This website has their song: This is a young one but even as adults they are very small.”

“Here is the grey warbler with a young goldfinch:”

“Paradise Shelduck  are native to New Zealand. These ducklings were orphaned. They, along with other types of duckling, have a bath/swim once a day, usually in a bucket.”

“Harrier Hawk chicks or Kahu in Maori.”

“These hawks catch a wide range of prey including, er, birds, but we like to think that when they’ve been cared for at the centre they will be a little kinder to their feathered friends :-)”

“Baby Pukekoes (a Maori name, pronounced ‘poo-KE-ko’).”


“Plover: This youngster was rescued after falling twice down drains while strolling behind its parents. Now it’s strolling in much more pleasant surroundings, a comfy incubator (the photos are to help prevent imprinting)”

Fantastic cute-porting! Thank you, Susan R!



  1. Wow, these birds are amazing. Thanks to our cuteporter for the great pix and especially the details!

  2. So there really is a Morepork (or Morpork) owl!

  3. Thank you, Mr. Terry Hatch It.

  4. omgoodness!! what cute birdies!!! thank you for helping them!
    (**smacks early settlers **)

  5. Awwww. What agreatnway to start the day. So many cute photos difficult to get cute baby bird photoes since they really are all mouth for a long time.


  7. Oh, the cuteness here is really over the top. All cute, but the owls and hawks just ’bout keeled me.

  8. I see what you did there.

  9. The duckalings are gorgeous! And can we get a tag for (eyebrow) dotterels?

  10. Bebeh peepers! Love me some downy feathers.

  11. cellarmouse says:

    that was cool…

  12. Morepork: The other cute meat.

    PS. I wouldn’t eat owls, I just couldn’t think of a way to play with that slogan. Where’s Oakley?! Gimme a hand here!

  13. Mary (the first) says:

    Thanks Susan! Nice to see a different kind of cute from the usual, although really all cute is good!

  14. Bebbeh boidies give bunnehs a run for their money in the “disapproval” department, don’t they? Some of those boidies (specially the bebbeh pukekoes and hawks, not to mention the perfectly spherical warbler) look downright disgruntled. Which begs the question, how can they manage to look outraged, grumpy and spiky and at the same time fluffy, vulnerable and completely adorable?

    ’tis a mystery, is it not?

  15. Quick! Somebody get the HK difbrathingamajig out of teh hall closet! *ded ded and triple ded

  16. *

  17. Oh goodness, the disapproving grey warbler kills me!

  18. Aww, thanks to all the nice peeps who take care of da boidies!

  19. The babies in the first picture remind of Edward G. Robinson, only cuter. It’s the wide, slightly turned-down mouths that put in mind E.G.R.!

  20. SlaveToCat says:

    Awwwww really sweet tweeties.
    And I just watched Martha Stewart poach quails eggs. >.<

  21. Give it an Ankh!

  22. All these creatures, right here, are why we need to keep our kitties INDOORS. They are horrible for the environment and in places like NZ it’s a pretty dire problem.

    Let’s keep control of our little predators. They are the ultimate invasive exotic-species.

  23. Oh, oh, oh… so proud of you Whitford Wild Bird Rescue! Another great NZ animal rescue squad! Remember the penguins in sweatuhs? In fact I personally save stalled honey bees. Tha’s jus’ how we roll here; it’s not all Hobbits and sheep ya knows!

  24. photos & a mirror (I think) to prevent imprinting…….fascinating….would that work?

  25. Brings back memories of the wildlife sanctuary where I used to volunteer– so many babies to feed every spring and summer…..

    That warbler’s call would have inspired Mozart if they lived in Europe.

  26. I love the mirror and the pics! It’s like bird therapy!

  27. *Hauls out the HK Thingamabob to heal la Therese…*

  28. SoccerSue says:

    Nothing falls into the “so ugly it’s cute” category as much as baby birds do. I’d never seen a baby cockatiel until my stepmom put one in my hands. I was laughing so hard I could barely hold onto it. Not quite the reaction she was expecting but I couldn’t help it. 😀

  29. Hi there, Susan R here who sent in the photos and info – yes, the mirror and photos are usually a big help preventing imprinting, especially with pukekoes and plovers which seem to impring on humans quite easily. We also tend to have the cages partly covered with cloths so that while lots of natural light gets in, they can’t easily look out at us humans at the centre and therefore decide that maybe they are humans too!

  30. fleurdamour says:

    Margarine…or owleo?

  31. I have heard the Grey Warbler’s call so many times, but never known what bird it was!

  32. Lovely to see a post on NZ birds! The 2nd to last picture is a pair of baby pukekos, not blackbirds. My personal favourite little native is the fantail

  33. Hi meow, thanks for the correction. The submitter’s descriptions were separate from the images and I mismatched that one. I’ll put it right.